It's grim down south - at least, for non-millionaires who want to step on the property ladder. People living in the most desirable enclave of London, Kensington and Chelsea, now spend 27 times their annual wage to secure a home, costing them around £1m.

By comparison, homebuyers in Burnley, Lancashire, the UK's most affordable town, can snap up a property for just £63,677, or 3.4 times their salary.

Robin Hood's work is done: Nottingham is one of the most affordable places to live in the UK, according to a recent analysis of the house price index. Its rating as eighth most affordable place in England and Wales is based on the ratio between average house prices and annual earnings \ IPC Images

The 10 most affordable regions in England and Wales are all in the north, while the 10 least affordable are in the south, revealed Marketing Metrix, which analysed Land Registry data for the six years since the recession began in 2007.

It looked at the ratio between house prices and earnings to deduce the cheapest and most extortionate areas.

The most expensive regions (in decreasing order) were: London, South Bucks, St Albans, Chiltern, Tanbridge, Elmbridge, Waverley, South Hams, Cotswold, Chichester.

The best-priced districts were: Burnley, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby, Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn with Darwen, Kingston upon Hull, Hyndburn, Nottingham, Copeland, Liverpool.

And the north/south divide appears to be getting worse. In the past year, the increase in house prices across England and Wales was 1%, with the average house now costing £162,441. But in London, property values shot up by 7.1%.

The worst-hit boroughs were posh Kensington and Chelsea (+12.4%), hipsters' hangout Hackney (+11.6%), centrally located Westminster (+11.4%), and the indie-kid hub of Camden (+11.2%).

 Royally expensive: a lovely pad, like this one in Kensington, will cost on average 27 times your annual salary, making London's Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea the least affordable place in the country \ Bico Stupakoff

The cheapest borough in Greater London is Barking and Dagenham, one of the few in which prices have decreased (-1.3%), and where the average property costs £206,651. 

Despite the stats, Britons are clinging onto a rosy vision of life darn sarf: a recent survey by primelocation.com found that 30% want to live in the southwest, 25% in the southeast and 14% in London.

Northern England, the Midlands, Wales and Scotland were considered much less favourably.

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